There's a lot of drivers in the tree that allow you to access the device
either via IO port space or IO mem space. Here's some examples:
bool "use normal IO"
depends on SCSI_SYM53C8XX_2
If you say Y here, the driver will preferently use normal IO
rather than memory mapped IO.
bool "Use PIO instead of MMIO"
depends on 8139TOO
This instructs the driver to use programmed I/O ports (PIO) instead
of PCI shared memory (MMIO). This can possibly solve some problems
in case your mainboard has memory consistency issues. If unsure,
bool "Use PCI shared mem for NIC registers"
depends on TULIP
Use PCI shared memory for the NIC registers, rather than going through
the Tulip's PIO (programmed I/O ports). Faster, but could produce
obscure bugs if your mainboard has memory controller timing issues.
If in doubt, say N.
As you can see, everybody asks the question differently, and sometimes
you should answer Y and sometimes N to get MMIO. There are other drivers
which don't ask the question at all and you have to edit the .c file to
turn it on or off. I'll also note the acronym `PIO' is ambiguous --
sometimes it refers to Port IO and sometimes to Programmed IO (which
can be a memory access).
Personally, when I'm configuring a new kernel for a machine, I don't
want to learn about the suboptions for each device -- I've got dozens of
other things to configure right. My favourite solution to this problem
wuld be to ask the question once only and have it apply to all devices:
bool "Prefer Memory-mapped I/O accesses over Port I/O"
Many devices are accessible via both memory mapped I/O and
port I/O. Say Y here to access them via the slightly faster
memory mapped I/O method. If you experience problems, you may
wish to say N here.
If that's not acceptable, can I suggest that we at least ask a standard
bool "Use Memory mapped I/O in preference to Port I/O"
depends on WWWW
This device's registers can be accessed by either memory
mapped I/O or port I/O. Memory mapped I/O is faster, so you
are advised to say Y here.
(yes, we could wordsmith these questions into the ground; the key point
of this mail is whether we ask one question at the start of configuration
or whether we ask one question per device.)
"It's not Hollywood. War is real, war is primarily not about defeat or
victory, it is about death. I've seen thousands and thousands of dead bodies.
Do you think I want to have an academic debate on this subject?" -- Robert Fisk
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